Evidence Mounts On Danger of Glyphosate Pesticides

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A recent report put together by various professors, scholars and researchers affiliated with Earth Open Source, a collaboration group devoted to food issues, cites in great detail the multitude of peer-reviewed scientific studies which show that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide (glyphosate), which is applied to many genetically-modified (GM) crops, is responsible for causing birth defects, endocrine disruption, DNA damage, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer -- and yet government agencies around the world continue to ignore this crucial information, and withhold it from the public, as they push for its approval or expanded use.

One of the main studies highlighted in the report was published in the August 2010 edition of Chemical Research in Toxicology, and it showed that Roundup causes malformations in frog and chicken embryos at levels much lower than those used on agricultural crops. And since Roundup-ready GM crops are designed to tolerate the herbicide, not resist it, they literally absorb Roundup, which is then passed on in much higher levels to humans that eat the tainted crops.

Another study conducted as part of the Argentine government's research group CONICET found high rates of the same or similar birth defect in humans living near GM soy crops that were routinely sprayed with Roundup, indicating a clear connection between the chemical and human birth defects. More than half of the growing land in Argentina is now dominated by GM soy, which is sprayed with about 53 millions gallons of Roundup every single year.

The authors of the report say that this and the bulk of other independent, indicting evidence against Roundup has been largely ignored by governments, including in the EU where new data requirements will demand that proper investigation into the safety of GMOs is conducted. Rather than rely on industry-funded pseudoscience that claims GMOs are safe, authors say those working for the people must rise to the occasion and take charge in having proper safety evaluations conducted on the safety of Roundup.

"The public ... has been kept in the dark by industry and regulators about the ability of glyphosate and Roundup to cause malformations," write the authors in their summary. "[T]he work of independent scientists who have drawn attention to the herbicide's teratogenic effects has been ignored, denigrated, or dismissed ... They have also contributed to the growing division between independent and industry science, which in turn erodes public trust in the regulatory process."

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